Vandal Touches People's Lives Daily
Exercise Science and Health Alumnus Committed to Healthy Active Lifestyle
Being involved in a grass-roots effort to move the University of Idaho toward a tobacco-free campus, launched Daniel Trautvetter (’13) toward his career as a Tobacco Cessation Counselor and Cancer Information Specialist with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
In 2012, Trautvetter and several other exercise science and health classmates developed a project for Movement Sciences class “Healthy Active Lifestyles Planning and Implementation” that researched creating a tobacco-free campus. The team worked on the efforts for two semesters gathering information, meeting with faculty and talking with students before looking at how to change the policy manual and making a presentation to former President Chuck Staben. Those efforts led to the creation of the Tobacco Free Task Force and the UI campus became a tobacco-free campus over the summer.
Those experiences ingrained into Trautvetter that he wanted to remain in tobacco cessation efforts. After graduating, he worked for a semester as interim director for VandalHealth before applying with the Fred Hutchinson Center.
“A huge part of the interview and them giving me this position was my involvement on campus and being a grass-roots advocate for change,” Trautvetter said. “The experience and knowledge I gained through that class and working on the tobacco-free policy has propelled me into a career in cancer research and tobacco cessation.”
On the job he works as part of a national program splitting his time between providing support for cancer information and tobacco cessation. He connects with individuals dealing with a cancer diagnosis to give them information on treatments, clinical trials, second opinions and anything else they may be looking for. He also works with veterans across the country connecting virtually via phone, email, chat and text services to give individuals the support they need in their efforts to quit tobacco use.
“Tobacco has such a hold on people, and if I can give tips or resources and them to quit, it improves their health,” Trautvetter said. “I do what I can to help. I talk with people in their worst situation and get to make their day a little bit better.”
Before Trautvetter began the exercise science and health program, he wasn’t certain what direction he wanted a career in public health to take. He started meeting regularly with Clinical Assistant Professor Helen Brown, who taught the class along with Professor Grace Goc Karp. After being mentored and guided by Brown, he became more involved and connected to the campus and community and how to approach public health in those environments.
“As a health guru for years, Helen Brown was an amazing mentor,” Trautvetter said. “She changed my life.”
Trautvetter is committed to providing tools for a healthy active lifestyle and is now working toward earning a master’s in public health.
“Find something you are passionate about and stick with it. Find a career that fills those passions,” he said.